I am the target audience for this book. I know very little about how the universe works since the last science class I took was College Chem I, but I enjoy the idea of science and want to learn more. This book took concepts that I knew the basics about, such as light, dark matter, and dark energy, and expanded on the history of discovery and broke down the science so I could understand it conversationally.
I read this book chapter by chapter, not all at once. Each chapter is about a completely different concept, some of which build off other concepts, some of which could stand alone. I think this book is meant to be bite-sized pieces to read every so often. I read a chapter every day, or every other day in the beginning, when it felt like the science was very theoretical and something I had to process in order to understand. The last few chapters are more about planets, and for me that took less processing, so I read them back to back. Fortunately, this is a small enough book that you can take your time with it rather than reading it all at once and still have time to return it to the library before it’s overdue.
Tyson’s writing is at times a little snarky, but I found his humor highly entertaining. His overall theme in writing this book is that he wants humans to keep learning, growing, and expanding our knowledge of the universe, and I think this little book can help more people understand more about astrophysics, if only a little. This book would be perfect for a young reader who’s interested in astrophysics, and parents could read it along with the middle grader to understand concepts their child may be interested in.